5/29/2020

New Age Vocal Review: Prem Vidu-Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma

Release Date:  June 4, 2020
Label: Independent
Website

Prim Vidu and his newest offering Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma was a pleasant surprise for my new age tastes. Normally the vocals I hear on releases are some background embellishments. This however is all vocals with the traditional instrumentation you would come to expect from a new age release.

I had no idea what I was in for with this album, I just trusted that Prem was a new age artist looking for an opinion on his music. Well he asked the right person and everything does happen for a reason. This is Prem’s first release and everything was composed and performed by him and his team. Besides singing he plays a multitude of instruments. It is quite impressive as this album is his first and an independent release. This is about belief in your life, love, gratitude and the pureness of one enlightened soul.

Some of the instruments used are nylon guitar, shakers, kit acoustic guitars, electric guitars, mandolin, piano, synths, fretless bass, flugelhorn and trumpet. And that is the short list!

To create an album with all vocals and to have that new age color, depth, and meaning, you need all the right instruments. Based on what I heard, things were done properly and Prem and his fine team of musicians pulled out all the stops and present one beautiful recording.

The one and most important instrument is Prem’s vocals. I found an immediate attraction to his warmth and flowing vocalizations. The lyrics are from the heart and soul of a man that has found his true path through the music and spirituality. Prem says “"There is no shorter umbilical to your soul than singing!" How that rings so true for me and I am sure countless others that will enjoy Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma.

At this particular moment in time I feeling some back pain and, in the music, and words of Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma I found comfort and healing sounds. Although I must admit some of the lyrics are not understood because they are not in English, however that did not matter. Prem’s voice is so inviting and smooth that you just go with all the flow. The instrumentation is certainly quite excellent, which helps to get you at your comfort zone.

There is plenty of variety musically which keeps your interest besides the digging down deep lyrics presented on this amazing group of tracks. Anyone that can appreciate our humanity, spirituality, a variety of instruments, and incredible vocals, well, that about says it all doesn’t it. This is thoughtful words set to a magnificent array of instrumentation! You need to hear Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 27, 2020


Track List:
1. Holy Divine Mother
2. May I Have The Strength
3. Cancel The Show
4. Oh Your Glory
5. Mighty Presence
6. Floating
7. Your Love Heals Me
8. Everything That Is Here

 


Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

5/28/2020

Modern Rock Icon MATTHEW SWEET Joins Classic Rock Legends BADFINGER For A New Version Of "Baby Blue!"


Los Angeles, CA - One of the rock world’s biggest stars is set to appear on a brand new 2020 update of the timeless classic “Baby Blue.” Matthew Sweet, best known for his 1991 smash hit album and single “Girlfriend,” joined the members of Welsh rock band Badfinger for a thrilling new take on the 1971 Pete Ham-penned tune that originally appeared on Badfinger’s Straight Up album. The band’s guitarist and vocalist at the time, Joey Molland, continues as the only surviving member of the original line-up today! “Baby Blue” was a huge hit at the time of its release but has since skyrocketed in popularity again thanks to its use in the series finale of Breaking Bad. This new version finds Sweet adding his bold creative energy which fuses nicely with Molland & Co.’s experienced musicianship. Fans are in for a real treat with this fantastic recording!

Stream the single: https://orcd.co/badfinger_matthew_sweet_baby_blue

Press inquiries: 
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158
glassonyonpr@gmail.com


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5/27/2020

Rock Review: Airborne Toxic Event - Hollywood Park

Release Date: May 22, 2020
Label: Rounder Records


Being a sucker for what I'll coin as Literary Rock, I eagerly anticipated this latest Airborne Toxic Event release, Hollywood Park. The album is a soundtrack to founder Mikel Jollett's recently released memoir focusing on his experiences growing up in an infamous cult and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. If the book is as powerful as the soundtrack, we're in for a great read.
It's worth noting that the band takes its name from a 1985 postmodern novel called White Noise, which centers around a chemical spill that forces the citizens to face their mortality and learn to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around them. 


The sonic experience involves a back-and-forth between propulsive anthems and subtle, evocative piano ballads. "Come on Out" is one of the album's real treasures. With a driving rhythm and deep, resonant vocals, it captures the thrill and angst of youth, all the while steering the listener boldly toward a new future.

As the album progresses, the songs slowly become stripped of their production and presumption. They become more personal. "The Common Touch" features Jollett in a folksy singsong number, which feels as if he's about to lighten the mood and then heads in a different direction.

With our heads soaked up in alcohol, one hand on a cigarette. I swear I still got some good moves left. I've been fifty-eight since I was twenty-three. I got sixty-nine problems but one ain't me.

In addition to "Come on Out," the standout track to me is "All These Engagements." The lyrics are rife with veiled allusions of deep and dark childhood trauma, which has followed the protagonist has carried with him all his life. It starts slow as a remembrance and rolls along forcefully building toward an ultimate crescendo of rage. "Common Touch" adds a folksy singalong number to the equation to lighten the mood.  

All in all, The longing, anger, and regret are palpable on Hollywood Park. Yet after a close listen, one feels a sense of earned wisdom, a that which does not kill me makes me stronger feeling. What Airborne Toxic Event delivers is a powerful collection of songs that blends rock music with a well-told coming of age story. The result is a highly gratifying listening experience.  

- Tom Endyke | Guitar & Pen




5/25/2020

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Masako-Hidden Flowers

Release Date: May, 25, 2020
Label: Independent
Website
I appreciate having a history with an artist, especially one that I can fully appreciate. This is the third Masako recording I have had the honor of covering.

Before the latest Hidden Flowers, I can reach back to 2017 with Piano Sanctuary and to 2019
with Underwater Whisperer.Knowing how much I enjoyed the previous of this talented piano player, it was just a matter of letting the music play. Then once it begins the process of it melting into my soul comes easy and naturally.

Hidden Flowers has twelve tracks of Masako leading the way with her flowing and concise piano style. Once again, the chemistry of recording at Will Ackerman’s studio comes through with the artist going from strength to strength. All production was by Ackerman, Tom Eaton, and Masako.

I think what I always admire the most with Masako is that she handles each composition as an individual piece of art. And even though the approach is that singularly focused, it comes together as one cohesive recording.
 
Tracks like “Observing M31” are light and airy featuring some lovely vocals and some rolling rhythmic piano playing along with some EWI from Premik Russell Tubbs (it sounds like a nice woodwind flute) to give it that extra layer of spice and texture. It is one of the many stand out tracks you will hear on Hidden Flowers.

Then with tracks like “Southbound Flyway,” which are filled with colorful and lively rhythms, which endeavor then succeed to paint a picture. Then you have Jeff Oster’s flugelhorn enhancing the mix to help create that scenery within the mind’s eye. It is undoubtedly the piano that always leads the way however the additional instruments make the tracks more whole and adventurous for potential listeners.

Tracks of beauty are perfected through the ivory keys and presented beautifully on Hidden Flowers. I think the title of the recording my suggest that flowers are hidden within in each song for you, the individual listener, to discover. I stopped to smell their fragrance and elegance once again through the talented fingers of Masako.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 18, 2020


Track List:

01.  Harajuku Memoir
02.  Age of Flowers
03.  Acadia
04.  Remember the Rainy Day
05.  Blossom River
06.  Observing M31
07.  Forgiving
08.  Eternal Bliss
09.  Southbound Flyway
10. Suddenly Cherry Blossoms
11.  Winter People
12. Central Park Retreat 



Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

5/24/2020

Singer/Songwriter Review: Peppino D’Agostino -Connexion

Release Date: April 03, 2020
Label: Peppino D’Agostino Music


Peppino D’Agostino, an Italian-born guitarist, with more than 40 years under his belt. Having left Italy, more than 30 years ago, he has revolutionized the works of the guitar. He mastered the technique of fingerpicking and as such has been labeled, “a giant of the acoustic guitar.” With no sign of slowing down, having toured over 30 countries so far, and each work D’Agostino releases being an upgrade from the last; this guitar-guru-turned-instructor can do almost anything when it comes to music. Connexion is his most recent release.

As though you are walking through villas of Italy themselves, Connexion wakes up with a smooth, sultry sound that gently caresses the listener’s ear bringing them to a place of pure happiness and is sure to place a smile upon their face. The incremental triple or quadruple strumming sets offer hints of excitement on the opening track “High Plains Guitarra.” The constant back and forth. Between tremendous eventful highs and build-ups, and few but sudden, melodic and mellow lows, the artist entices the listener for what’s to come.

Coming off the highs of “High Plains Guitarra,” “Dancing with Shadows” is perfect somber ear-play to trick the listener not to expect the same result from every track. With the very short, but playful back-and-forth of the song, it is a relaxing piece that makes D’Agostino look like he was trying to weave a musical web.”Head Case,” with its more staccato-like structure is a fun, quick piece in which the artist plays with the listener. “Buster” is more complex. The song is layered in such a way that it has hints of a dark brooding sound while trying to come to a struggling resolution.

“Mara’s Sleeping Song,”  (if not for the title alone), is a lullaby that makes peace with the listener. Amid the song, the guitar transforms somewhat into a heightened cry for peace as the musician climbs a white, cloud-covered staircase. “Mexican Sunrises,” continue that calm and serene sounding tone. D’Agostino is capable, in a way, to cause the mind to drift off into such a place. “Liam’s Song” is hard to describe. It starts off very melodramatic and mysterious, and yet by the end, it is finishing off at a rushed, stimulating tempo, only to fall back to an eery ending.

“Stammi Vicino” translates to “Stay Close to Me.” It plays a love song that only wishes to keep on playing into eternity. The song plays like a longing calling card for one’s partner to remain side by side, to complete all of the goodness within his or her life (depending on if this is personal to the musician himself or written from a friend or onlooker’s perspective). “Jenny’s Goodbyes” with its carrying constant one-note undertone, offers a simple yet appealing lead-up to the final number. With only a minute and a quarter, the final track “Beauty in the Abyss” is an alluring ending to an album that offers up so many twists and turns with only a guitar at the helm.

Who could’ve guessed an acoustic guitar could wield so much power. Well, Peppino D’Agostino captivates emotion to its core, exploring all avenues of depth and rhythm within the confines of possibly an amp or not and just one sole instrument. When you combine Connexion with his masterful, musical history, Peppino D’Agostino is hard to overlook.

Gregg Keniston- MuzikMan.net Staff
May 22, 2020

Track Listing:
1. She Was Young
2. Falling Grace
3. Porsmouth Figurations
4. Awful Coffee
5. Eiderdown
6. Hullo Bolinas
7. Away
8. In F
9. Radio

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